NRSV and NLT are now my two gender-inclusive translations of choice

Hopefully, this will be my last post on the TNIV for a little while. There are better things to blog about.

As for a gender-accurate (gender-inclusive) translation, I will be going with the NRSV as my main translation of choice; second will be the NLT.  I may be in the minority camp here but I am not alone.  I believe this camp will grow in the future.  There are also a few others who will be leaving the TNIV as their mediating translation of choice.  Sue at Suzanne’s Bookshelf mentioned there are a few who will be going with the NRSV as their main translation, “now that the NIV/TNIV is in limbo”.  [added: Rick at This Lamp will also no longer be recommending the TNIV as a primary bible.]  I’ve been reading a lot of other blogs lately about this issue of the death of the TNIV in the past few days.  I know most of my biblioblogger friends out there are going to stick with reading the TNIV, but I will not, based on Zondervan’s business ethics (i.e., $$$$).

If the new NIV in 2011 tones down its gender-inclusive language (either by 5%, 10% or 15%), then it’ll not be much different from the inconsistent ESV.  Even if 95% of the TNIV will be preserved, you can bet that some of the gender-inclusive language will be reversed to a masculine language.  So why would TNIV supporters (who support gender-inclusive language) want to be a fan of an inconsistent translation in the future?  I predict that some current TNIV-supporters may come to see it this way a few years down the road when they see the light.  They will realize that Zondervan has betrayed the pro-TNIV supporters.

If the new NIV of 2011 tones down the gender language, the likes of Grudem and the anti-TNIV and ESV-only crowds have won.  Personally, I still refer to the ESV in my study.  I’m one of those funny ones who support the TNIV and the ESV even though I have nothing to do with the ESV-only crowd.  Though I think the ESV is inconsistent in its use of gender-inclusive language, I still have more respect for the ESV and Crossway than for Zondervan.  Crossway has backed up its translation and has done an amazing marketing job on the ESV.  Zondervan has not.  It has treated it disgracefully.  Dan Philips calls the TNIV a misbegotten version (but he takes an anti-TNIV position).  I call it a product of ‘Hagar’ but I take a pro-TNIV position).

Furthermore, I will not be stocking up on more TNIVs (like Rick advised TNIV-over at This Lamp) because, as I’ve said before, if it’s not good enough for CBT, Biblica and Zondervan, then it’s not good enough for me.  Why should I read from a translation they do not intend to support?  A dying translation is as good as a dead translation.  I will not invest my time and effort to read, teach or preach from a dead translation, which is why I don’t read the NEB, REB (or maybe even the NASB…sorry ElShaddai and Gary Z.).

Even though I have lost some respect for the three parties who are involved with TNIV’s death, my love for the TNIV translation is still alive.  Ironically, I still encourage TNIV-supporters to read the TNIV.   Until I see what happens in 2011, I don’t think I’ll even touch the TNIV for a while, at least for a while until my head cools down a little and my ill-feelings toward Zondervan, Biblica and CBT subsides.  If there truly is a resurrection of the TNIV and its gender-inclusive language is preserved, I may return to the new NIV, but for the time being, I will hold off from it because I have my doubts about CBT, and Zondervan’s intentions (which I believe are not good, of which I may express more in a future post).

Published by

libertyculture

Reflections on when faith & the scriptures intersect life & society.

20 thoughts on “NRSV and NLT are now my two gender-inclusive translations of choice”

  1. Kevin, I do hope you are wrong. I pray that the translators will do the right thing, and translate as correctly as possible.

    I do want to apologize, I knew that you had switched over to WordPress but I totally forgot to update my Google Reader. That is why I have not been at your blog and it also explains why I am so late at responding.

    Like

  2. Bitsy, I wasn’t into the NRSV until I started seminary and began to really check it out more carefully. Now I’m convinced that it may just be the all around best translation available today, and definitely best on the gender-inclusive side. You should check it out.

    Yes, we all love it when TC digs into and prods the TNIV. 😉

    Like

  3. Mark, the gender-inclusive cause need people like you to show support for it. Good for you.

    I can understand why Zondervan and Biblical should be held responsible for this but I have a feeling the CBT was also persuaded to go along with it. Otherwise, Doug Moo wouldn’t have appeared on the video conference announcing the new NIV.

    Like

  4. Actually, I do understand the emotion involved. I have felt the same. I hold Zondervan and Biblica more responsible than the CBT.
    Personally, i am sticking with the TNIV (our church just bought a heaps of TNIV Pew Bibles). I like it, I will use my reference Edition until it dies. I dare say it will be a little while after 2011 when they release the new NIV reference.

    Like

  5. you can bet that some of the gender-inclusive language will be reversed to a masculine language

    OK, Kevin, I’ll take up your bet, if you really want someone to. If the 2011 NIV actually comes out with “masculine language”, in places where the original text is unambiguously gender generic, I will buy you an NRSV or an NLT, a basic edition – and buy one for myself. And if the 2011 NIV comes out just as gender-inclusive as TNIV, you buy me a copy of it, and one for yourself – buy direct from Biblica if you still don’t like Zondervan. Agreed? I’m not usually a betting man, but I think this one is fairly safe.

    Like

    1. If the 2011 NIV actually comes out with “masculine language”, in places where the original text is unambiguously gender generic, I will buy you an NRSV or an NLT, a basic edition – and buy one for myself. And if the 2011 NIV comes out just as gender-inclusive as TNIV, you buy me a copy of it, and one for yourself

      Peter, I’m not usually a betting man either, but okay, I’ll take up your wager. hehehe.

      TC, are you taking up this wager too?

      Like

  6. The recent announcement about the phasing out of the TNIV has solidified my commitment to the NRSV. The news was the last little push I needed. In addition to the lack of support from Zondervan, I was having issues with some of the translation choices in the TNIV especially after reading criticisms of the NIV and TNIV from NT Wright.

    I too, will be referring to the NLT as my second translation. With a strong formal translation in the NRSV and a translation I can use with my kids in the NLT, I don’t this I will miss the TNIV at all.

    Like

    1. Nothingman, good for you. You won’t regret this decision because the NRSV and NLT are excellent choices for a first and second translation. Like you, I don’t think I’ll miss the TNIV at all. I’m already studying and teaching from the NRSV. I only have to switch to the NLT for my main devotional reading.

      Like

Leave a Reply to Bitsy Griffin Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s